Water Quality Crediting for Stream Restoration Projects

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Stream restoration provides many benefits to ecosystems and communities in both urban and rural areas. Stream restoration projects may also provide pollutant trading and mitigation opportunities. WE&RF recently sponsored development of water quality crediting guidance for stream restoration projects. The guidance provides a general technical framework for quantifying the water quality benefits of a specific suite of stream restoration practices, focusing on sediment and nutrients. The four practices addressed include stream stabilization, riparian buffers, in-stream enhancement, and floodplain re-connection. The general technical considerations and challenges for developing stream restoration credits are discussed, along with guidance for credit development and information related to verification and monitoring of stream restoration projects.

This web seminar will provide an overview of the recently published crediting guidance. A framework for assigning credits for each of the four stream restoration practice groups will be discussed, including background information, project information/data requirements, regional geomorphic considerations, longevity and response time, uncertainty and simplifying assumptions, and recommended crediting approach. Concepts such as applicable credit area, safety factors (i.e., credit multipliers), credit life, and tracking and accounting will also be addressed.